Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Highlights Bamboo Collection for Annual Fall Garden Festival

For this JOU3109c assignment, I had to create a Practice News Release (PNR) for Kanapaha Botanical Garden’s annual Fall Garden Festival. This assignment was very beneficial for me because I am a Public Relations major and writing press releases is necessary for careers in PR.


4700 S.W. 58th Drive

Gainesville, FL 32608



Nov. 19-20 2016



Carly Rogers, Intern
Phone Number: (352) 372-4981

Fax Number: (352) 372-5892

Email: kbotanical@gmail.com



Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Highlights Bamboo Collection for Annual Fall Garden Festival


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Plant lovers unite! Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, home to the largest collection of bamboo in Florida, will host its annual Fall Garden Festival Nov. 19, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 20, 2016 from 10 a.m. 5 p.m.

The Fall Garden Festival features about 175 booths offering plants, landscape displays, garden accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits and food.

“For a lot of the nurserymen and growers around here, this is a place where they can showcase and sell all the things they’ve been growing throughout the year,” said Alexis Caffrey, Director of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

All kinds of plants will be for sale, such as bamboo, crape myrtle, magnolias, and azaleas. Twenty food booths including typical fair food, and Greek, Soul, and Vegetarian food will also be available.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 13. Children can plant and take home a flowering plant, complimentary of Hatchett Creek Nursery and the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

Main stage performances are scheduled for an hour on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. On Sunday, performances are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 62-acre Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is the second largest and most diverse botanical garden in the state. Built around Lake Kanapaha, the park features twenty-four gardens, including the largest herb garden in the South. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is operated by the North Florida Botanical Society, a non-profit educational organization.

For more information about Kanapaha Botanical Gardens or the Fall Garden Festival, visit http://www.kanapaha.org or https://www.facebook.com/kanapaha/.

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PhD Student Nicki Karimipour Shares Her Experience From the FSView to the U of F

For this JOU3109c assignment, we had to create a personal profile for Nicki Karimipour after watching an interview between her and Julie Dodd. This assignment showed us how to and how not to act professionally during an interview.


Although becoming an editor of the FSView, the Florida State University newspaper, was not one of her initial goals, Nicki Karimipour had gained many skills and experiences necessary to begin her journey as a journalist.

As a PhD student in the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Karimipour shared her experience and advice in an interview with Julie Dodd.

While describing her time as editor of the publication, she had called it one of the highlights of her college experience. “I had a friend who was a writer for the newspaper and she recommended that I join the staff,” said Karimipour, “I really enjoyed it and I worked my way to eventually becoming the editor.”

Some of the obstacles Karimpour faced as the editor were collaborating with other editors and adjusting her schedule for both school and the newspaper. “When you’re in college you have to balance a lot of different activities, so finding the time to do the interviews and write my stories was definitely something I had to get used to,” said Karimipour.

But overcoming those obstacles came with great rewards. At the annual FSU Peace Jam, Karimpour had the opportunity to interview their speaker and Nobel Peace Prize winner in Farsi, the language of Iran.  “I was kind of the perfect person to interview her. It was definitely a highlight, [and she is] probably one of the most famous people I have interviewed in my career.”

For success in journalism, Karimipour advises that, “Nothing teaches you more than being on the job, whether that it’s an internship or a paid job… [it is not only] good for your résumé but for developing you as a person and as a professional.” She also stated that developing good research and writing skills are also important.

In addition to being a current student at the University of Florida, Karimipour also teaches many courses and manages a digital publication that promotes health and wellness that focuses on college-aged individuals.

North Port Solid Waste Implements New Recycling Program

For this JOUC3109c assignment, I had to conduct my own interview and create my own story based on something happening in my town. The topic had to have a focus in the environment, health, technology or science field. I enjoyed this assignment because it allowed me to be in control of my own story, and I was able to interview people within my city instead of watching a pre-recorded interview.


NORTH PORT, Fla.- North Port Solid Waste Division took “going green” to a new level when they replaced the standard blue 18-gallon recycling bins with two dark green rolling containers.

The Solid Waste Division ran a 4-month-long pilot with the totes with 2,100 homes in 2015, and saw success with the program. They introduced the program to commission and it was approved in April. Since then, the Solid Waste has distributed the containers to approximately 26,400 homes.

Frank Lama, the Solid Waste manager, explains the new recycling program and how the community can participate.

“The goal for the new recycling program is to reduce waste by using two bigger containers than the two smaller ones,” said Lama. “We have already noticed that people have been recycling more.”

“More people are willing to recycle. You give them the space, and they do it,” said Lama. “Also, they’re on wheels, so it’s a lot easier.”

The new totes, similar to the standard garbage cans, each have a tan lid and a blue lid. The tan lid collects paper products while the blue lid is for glass, plastic and cans. They come in size 32, 65, or 95-gallon containers; bigger than the old 18-gallon bins.

“I think the city would recycle more if they knew that it saves taxpayer dollars,” said Lama.

Each ton of garbage is $48, while recyclables are priced at market value. Currently, glass, plastic and cans are priced at $12 per ton while paper products are valued at $50 per ton, which are later recycled into new materials.

“We’re doing over 500 tons per recycling and if you put that into a landfill at $48, it’s not a good number,” said Lama.

While the new recycling containers have improved recycling in the city so far, there are many items that Solid Waste cannot accept. If they are found inside a tote, its contents must be disposed in a landfill.

“When you go to the landfill they have an x-ray type machine to see what is inside your truck, so you have to be careful,” said Julia Bellia, the Public Works director of the division.

Fortunately, Solid Waste has multiple resources to dispose of these materials.

Hazardous waste can be dropped off at special collection areas in Venice or at North Port City Hall during the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event, which just had an event on Saturday, March 18. The North Port Fire Department accepts medical sharps while the North Port Police Department can dispose of old medications.

In addition to saving money, the totes help keep North Port clean by reducing the amount of loose debris that the old bins produced. Also, the lids on the new totes help prevent bugs from reaching the materials inside the container.

So far, the community’s reaction has been mostly positive. “Very, very few people have complained,” said Bellia. “It’s mostly things like ‘I can’t fit this in my garage,’ or ‘I don’t want to recycle.’”

“Usually, Frank and a few others will go out to talk to them, and after that they’re okay with it,” she said. “They show them how they can rearrange things in their garage to fit them in. Also, we also have a smaller container that they can use.”

The new recycling program also runs on a new schedule, with each tote being used on alternate weeks. The schedule can be found on the inside lids of the totes.

“In 2008, we starting doing garbage on one side of the street and it took about seven months of us educating the residents which side to put it on,” said Lama. “After looking at the city, in the past six weeks, a lot of on the first route really understood the program in a significantly lesser time.”

As for the original blue bins, they will be recycled.

“We’ve collected about 8,000 already. We’re going to go ahead and put them on pallets, wrap them up, and get paid for them,” said Lama.


A Deeper Understanding of Culture: Interview with Kruti Bhatt

For this JOU3109c assignment, I interviewed Kruti Bhatt, a classmate of mine, over the phone. After our interview I had to create a personal profile for her.

While visiting other countries, understanding its culture adds personal meaning. For others, sharing this culture is a large part of their life, whether they are traveling or not.

Kruti Bhatt, a 22-year-old student at the University of Florida, shares her experiences while traveling to India to visit family.

Bhatt and her family travel to Gujarat, which is in Central India, to visit relatives. There, she speaks to them in Gujarati, one the many languages of India. “My parents taught me Gujarati, but I learned Hindi, the official language, from movies and soap operas.”

While traveling, Bhatt was able to visit many Indian sights, including the Himalayans. “During my first trip, we went to a resort called Kullu Manali. We went hiking and there were monkeys everywhere, which was very cool.”

In India, it is very common to see animals, such as cows and dogs, roaming the streets. “As a kid it’s really cute and funny, but it is also kind of sad because the animals do not have a home. In India, it is tradition to leave leftovers outside to feed the strays.”

In addition to feeding the strays after meals, families will usually go on walks after dinner to socialize and help digest dinner, and sometimes buy ice cream as a treat.  “One of the biggest things I’ve noticed in India is that nothing is more important than family,” said Bhatt. “It is important that you respect your elders because it shows ‘seva,’ which is a good reflection of you [and your character].”

Festivals are extremely import to Indians and to Hinduism, and are celebrated often. “One of the festivals I was present for was Uttarayan, which celebrates the changing of seasons from spring into summer,” said Bhatt. “It is an outdoor festival and we celebrated by flying kites.”

In the United States, however, Bhatt and her family must celebrate holidays, like Diwali, the festival of lights, at home. “We try to go to the temple and we will put lights up around the house and turn on all of the lights in each room,” said Bhatt. “After, my mom will make food.”

Her favorite memory is when she visited the Taj Mahal. “It wasn’t as much as destination that was the best part, but the journey. There was a great field we had to walk through to get there,” she recalled. “There were many restrictions I didn’t understand [because I was young] at the time, but it was very memorable and beautiful.”

Bhatt has taken two trips, one at age seven and the other at age 12, and a third is being planned for this summer. Although it has been awhile since Bhatt has been to India, her excitement to return grows larger with time. “I have a lot of love for the country and I cannot wait to go back,” said Bhatt. “There is so much more I have to discover.”

Gainesville Construction Worker Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Chest

This JOUC3109c assignment was to create a news story based on the information given to us by our instructor. This assignment allowed us to practice this form of writing and to practice our AP Style skills.


GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Daniel Harper, a Gainesville construction worker for Lean On Us Builders, is lucky for the outcome of his unlucky incident.

On October 3rd, Harper, 52, was laying shingles down on a roof of a new home site when his nail gun jammed. He tried to fix it by gripping the gun between his knees and pulling the bent nail out. While trying to remove the four-inch nail, the gun went off.

“It was about a foot away and it went right into my chest, right into my heart,” said Harper.

Harper’s coworker, 28-year-old Jerry Reeker, heard him scream and saw him grip his chest. He immediately knew what had happened and instructed Harper to stay still as he called 911 from his cell phone.

“I didn’t have time to be scared. I just went into automatic drive and tried to get Daniel help,” said Reeker.

“He did the right thing by not trying to remove the nail himself,” said Dr. Terrell Walker, cardiac surgeon at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. “His friend did the right thing by getting medical attention immediately.”

The nail pierced Harper’s right ventricle, which supplies blood to the lungs, and Harper went into cardiac arrest. “We closed the hole and his heart is strong,” said Walker. “His recovery from surgery has been remarkable and I was glad to be able to send him home to his family.”

“He’s super lucky,” he said. “I told him he should go play the lottery.”

Harper’s wife, Janice, said she’s really glad to have her husband home safe.

“It was a roller-coaster couple of weeks. First the birth of our grandson, then the agony of seeing my husband in the hospital bed,” she said. “He’s going to be a great grandpa, and I’m glad he’s going to be around to see his grandson grow up.”

Harper spent a week in the hospital before he got to come home. Now, he’s taking it easy at his house, and will be going to therapy to continue to regain his strength.

As for the lottery, Harper said, “I’ve already won the lottery. I’m alive.”